Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition, et. al. v. Colorado Board of Parks and Outdoor Recreation 2012COA146 (August 30, 2012)

Gone is the age of back office deals between government officials—mostly. Colorado’s Open Meetings Law (OLM) protects the participation of citizens in the legislative decision making process. So, meetings between government officials, held by Email or telephone, in which any public business is discussed, violate the OML. In this case, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Board admittedly violated the OML three times by holding Email, telephone and in-person meetings. It held a subsequent properly noticed and open public meeting, where the public provided input, and the Board engaged in “renewed deliberations” of the wrongly discussed issues. For the first time, the court of appeals squarely held that OML violations can be “cured” at later meetings that comply with the OML, if genuine discussion occurs, and the meeting is not merely to “rubber stamp” a decision already made.

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